Evening Meditation for the Fifth Saturday in Lent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation



The time of His Passion being now at hand, our Redeemer departed from Bethany to go to Jerusalem. On drawing nigh to that ungrateful city, He beheld it and wept: Beholding the city he wept over it. (Luke xix. 41). He wept because He foresaw its ruin, which would be the consequence of the stupendous crime of taking away the life of the Son of God, of which that people would shortly be guilty. Ah, my Jesus and my God, when Thou wert then weeping over that city, Thou wert weeping also over my soul, beholding the ruin I have brought upon myself by my sins, constraining Thee to condemn me to hell, even after Thy having died to save me. Oh, leave it to me to weep over the great evil of which I have been guilty in despising Thee, the greatest Good of all, and do Thou have mercy upon me.

Jesus Christ enters into the city: the people go forth to meet Him with acclamations and rejoicings; and, in order to do Him honour, some of them strew branches of palms along the road, whilst others spread out their garments for Him to pass over. Oh, who would ever then have said that that Lord, now recognised as the Messias, and welcomed with so many demonstrations of respect, the next time that He appeared along the selfsame ways, would be under sentence of death, and with a Cross upon His shoulders! Ah, my beloved Jesus, these people now receive Thee with acclamations, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! (Matt. xxi. 9). Glory to the Son of David! Blessed be He Who cometh in the Name of God for our salvation! And then they will raise their voices insultingly to Pilate to take Thee out of the world, and cause Thee to die upon a Cross: Away with him! Away with him! Crucify Him! Go, my soul, and do thou also lovingly say to Him: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Blessed for ever be Thou Who art come, O Saviour of the world; for otherwise, we had all been lost. O my Saviour, save me!


When the evening, however, was come, after all those acclamations, there was no one found who would invite Him to lodge in his house; so that He was obliged to retrace His steps to Bethany. O my beloved Redeemer, if others will not give Thee a welcome, I desire to welcome Thee into my poor heart. At one time, I, unhappily, expelled Thee from my soul; but I now esteem having Thee with me more than the possession of all the treasures of earth. I love Thee, O my Saviour; what power shall ever be able to separate me from my love of Thee? Sin only; but from this sin it is Thine to deliver me by Thy help, O my Jesus; and thine too by thy intercession, O Mary, my Mother.

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